What You Need to Know About Parking Lot Accidents in New Jersey

By Greg Kohn

It is somewhat surprising that there are not more parking lot accidents, even though there are many. Many parking lots require drivers to pull into a parking spot in the forward position, rather than backing into the space. As such, drivers have to back out of the spot when they want to leave.

Also, people in parking lots have many distractions, like looking for a place to park or thinking about the errands they are running. Add to the mix the fact that people are on foot and cutting between cars as they make their way to and from the stores. Sometimes, more than one person is at fault in a parking lot collision. A New Jersey personal injury attorney can answer your questions surrounding what you need to know about parking lot accidents In New Jersey.

Parking Lot Collisions Between Cars 

A parking lot accident that involves two cars can happen when both cars are in the process of backing out of their spaces and run into each other or when one car backs out and hits or gets hit by a car going forward. Usually, the car that was backing out is at fault, but not always. When both cars were backing out, the likely outcome is that they will both be at fault. There are exceptions to these general rules, but the winning party will have to prove the other driver’s liability.

Another two-car scenario happens when two cars try to pull into the same spot at the same time. In this ultimate game of “chicken,” the police typically find both drivers at fault. Law enforcement will, however, explore details like the direction from which each driver turned. For example, if one car made a right turn into the space and the other driver crossed that vehicle’s path while turning left into the spot, the left-turning driver is more likely to be at fault.

Collisions Between Cars and Pedestrians in New Jersey Parking Lots

Pedestrians generally have the right-of-way in an accident with a moving vehicle, but not always. In some situations, the police might find both the walker and the driver at fault, in equal or different proportions. It is possible for a driver to get found not at fault when coming into contact with a pedestrian in a New Jersey parking. The officer will review each accident on a case-by-case basis to determine fault.

Pedestrian Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Parking Lots

If the parking lot contained a dangerous condition, like a piece of metal rebar sticking up in the grass of the parking lot median or landscaping, a pedestrian who trips and falls might be able to sue the property owner for the injuries and other losses. Sometimes, the walker can be at fault, such as when the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or engaging in horseplay that caused the fall.

How Much Time You Have to Sue for Your Injuries in New Jersey

New Jersey only gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the person you want to be held accountable for your injuries, according to New Jersey Statutes section 2A:14-2. Negotiating with the liable party’s insurance company does not satisfy this rule. If you miss the deadline, you can forever lose the right to get compensation for your losses.

A New Jersey personal injury attorney can investigate your accident and go after money damages from the party who harmed you. Contact our office today.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.